The patterns that result from such feedback loops exhibit stability and robustness, and therefore take on a seeming reality at their own level. The interplay of symbols in the brain constitutes thought, and thought results in behavior, whose consequences are then perceived anew by the selfsame brain.
The near-alignment of one brain and one soul is thus misleading: it gives rise to the illusion that consciousness is not distributed, and it is that illusion that is the source of much confusion about what we human beings really are.
The author then argues that the adaptive function of phenomenological consciousness is to organize information in a particular way that condenses the largest possible amount of information relevant to the self in each moment in order to maximize the intelligence of behavior. The intelligence-maximizing function of consciousness is defined and explored in terms of three cognitive capacities—sensitivity, insight, and creativity. The author presents a model of the information process embodied by consciousness that involves three streams of information—sensation, feeling including instinctive response and emotion , and meaning both primitive categorization and conceptualization.
In this model these three streams of information progress through a loop including three distinct levels of organization—unconscious inherited , sub-conscious acquired from experience , and conscious. The central information structure of this process is the sub-conscious autobiographical identity.
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The author explores how this process enables consciousness to condense information into the conscious format in such a way that it potentially maximizes the intelligence of behavior. The author suggests that the conscious information process he has described is unique in terms of the range of possible universes to which it is relevant in such a way that it demonstrates the potential of consciousness to approach or simulate? It is this capacity of consciousness, the author suggests, that makes consciousness potentially infinitely more adaptive than non-conscious cognition.
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However, they would be mistaken to conclude from these considerations that immaterial qualia attend their own experiences. So the issue of whether we should be persuaded by explanatory gap arguments against materialism turns on our ability to rule out the possibility that we are not zombies, creatures that would be mistakenly seduced into believing in immaterial qualia. And this is precisely what I fear we cannot do, at least not without begging the question.
Specifically, I offer an account of how zombies could come to talk about the qualitative dimension of their experience and accept an explanatory gap between the material and phenomenal without invoking immaterial properties of experience. If this story about zombie consciousness sounds plausible or better yet, familiar! What is really conceivable, though unlikely, is that we are not zombies — that we have conscious states are as the lovers of immaterial qualia understand them. The article, "Towards a Philosophical Structure for Psychiatry", was written by Kenneth Kendler, one of the leading voices in psychiatry.
In psychiatry, these are not merely theoretical questions but have immediate application in how to treat patients. Psychiatry requires more than functionalism can provide. The goal of this essay is to provide that support. First, there are strong pragmatic arguments in favor of mental causality. While out of fashion with philosophy of mind, pragmatism is what drives science and industry.
Much of the recent work in philosophy of mind has developed from questions raised in artificial intelligence. However, scientists within the biological realm are concerned with very different questions. One important illustrative example is the field of cosmetic psychopharmacology, the development of drugs to enhance mood and emotion.
The emotional system evolved from rapid appraisal mechanisms of the environment. The goal of cosmetic psychopharmacological research is liberation from current limitations in self and will by gaining more control over when emotional responses occur, and viewing ourselves as automatons is counterproductive in such research. These new endeavors challenge the usefulness of many current paradigms in the philosophy of mind.
Within functionalism, it is paradox that creatures would attempt to expand something which does not exist. In fact, much existential and religious philosophy is also a paradox when functionalism is accepted. Fodor, one of the founders of cognitive science and functionalism, states that we actually understand very little about how the mind works, and he directly challenges the completeness of the functionalist account of mind based on the problem of abduction.
The middle problem does not attempt to address the most fundamental questions about consciousness which are left to the hard problem.
This new formulation is the first step in moving into the pragmatic new realm of empowered neuroscience. Current theories hint at where we might hope to find a scientific theory of consciousness—perhaps in information theory, information integration theory, complexity theory, neural Darwinism, reentrant neural networks, quantum holism, type or token physicalism, reductive or nonreductive functionalism. These theories fall short of the minimal standards of quantitive precision, novel prediction, and explanatory scope that are normally required of a scientific theory.
This is troubling, since we have a large body of correlations between brain activity and consciousness, and between brain impairments and conscious impairments, correlations normally assumed to entail that brain activity creates conscious experience. In this talk I explore a solution to the mind-body problem that starts with the converse assumption: these correlations arise because consciousness creates brain activity, and indeed creates all objects and properties of the physical world. To this end, I develop two theses. The multimodal user interface MUI theory of perception states that perceptual experiences do not match or approximate properties of the objective world, but instead provide a simplified, species-specific, user interface to that world.
I argue for this thesis on evolutionary grounds, and on the basis of results in computational studies of vision. Conscious realism states that the objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences; these can be mathematically modeled and empirically explored in the normal scientific manner. I present a mathematical model and discuss its implications. Together these two theses provide a new formulation and solution to the mind-body problem.
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They also entail epiphysicalism: consciousness creates physical objects and properties, but physical objects and properties have no causal powers. For the conscious realist, the mind-body problem is how, precisely, conscious agents create physical objects and properties. Here, I argue, we have a vast and mathematically precise scientific literature, with successful implementations in computer vision systems.
To a physicalist, the conscious-realist mind-body problem might appear to be a bait and switch that dodges hard and interesting questions: What is consciousness for? When and how did it arise in evolution? How does it now arise from brain activity? Now, admittedly, with conscious realism there is a switch, from the ontology of physicalism to the ontology of conscious realism. This switch changes the relevant questions.
Consciousness is fundamental. So to ask what consciousness is for is to ask why something exists rather than nothing. To ask how consciousness arose in a physicalist evolution is mistaken. Instead we ask how the dynamics of conscious agents, when projected onto appropriate MUIs, yields current evolutionary theory as a special case. To ask how consciousness arises from brain activity is also mistaken.
Brains are complex icons representing heterarchies of interacting conscious agents. So instead we ask how neurobiology serves as a user interface to such heterarchies. Conscious realism, it is true, dodges some tough mysteries posed by physicalism, but it replaces them with new, and equally engaging, scientific problems. Usually but not always these explanations are coherent with the rest of our current scientific paradigm: they demystify the mind-body problem, and remove its halo of insolubility.
However, they tend to dismiss philosophy, giving up command to neurosciences. I will argue that science and philosophy do not oppose each other in the study of consciousness; on the contrary, both are necessary to solve different aspects of the problem. The fact that philosophy seems to be out of fashion in its attempts to solve the mind-body problem is due to the belief of many scientists and philosophers that the so-called hard problem does not exist at all.
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Those who deny the hard problem do not realize that the why in the question may not be answered by scientific theories, but by philosophical accounts. The assumption that there is a causal link between brain and mind really yields two kinds of questions: How it does it? The how question is of a scientific-technical kind and its answer may indeed be expressed in terms of molecules, neuron firings, brain zones, neurotransmitters, or something like that. The why question, however, cannot be understood in material terms, but in terms of sense and meaning.
Thus, there is a sense of asking why, whereby do not expect a material-functional answer, but a global explanation: an explanation of the meaning, not of the process. Hence, the mind-body problem question is twofold: one part belongs to neurosciences the objective-material part of human beings , and the other part, the anthropological one, belongs to philosophy the subjective-conscious part of human beings.
This way, it makes sense to say that there is no hard problem for science it shouldn't be, in some way In both casual and philosophical communication, people use this word in referring to the act of experiencing, to that which is experienced, or to a compound event that includes both act and object. Thus the experience of tasting a strawberry involves 1 enjoying the flavor, 2 the flavor which is enjoyed, and perhaps also 3 a mysterious combination of the two.
Is this just a verbal ambiguity, in which a single word refers to more than one state of affairs, or is something more perplexing involved? Either interpretation leads to peculiar conclusions. This paper will address these concerns by suggesting that our descriptions of experiences may be radically mistaken. Many philosophers would agree that we can make important errors about our own experiences.
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I will argue that erroneous assessments of introspectable phenomena lead us to believe there is a problem of duality. The hard problem of consciousness can be resolved as follows. Science systematizes and objectifies this mechanism as Scientific Reduction. The same argument can be applied, mutatis mutandi, to other situations where the analysis mechanism dead-ends into either a primary sensory input qualia or a recursive concept the self.
The concept proton is real; a concept like phlogiston is not, but both of these can be analyzed, so they both agree to play the consistency game where they differ is in how phlogiston plays the game: it does not fit, so it is not real. The subjective aspects of consciousness refuse to play the game because they cannot be analyzed: they are neither real nor unreal, but inexplicable. This may seem like a denial of the reality of consciousness, but it is not: the question of its reality is strictly beyond the bounds of science.
There is effectively a dead zone at the center of science, which science can predict and delineate, but which it cannot enter. Higher-order theories hold that a mental state is conscious when it is the target of a separate and distinct mental state. Same-order theories hold that a mental state is conscious in virtue of that state having dual contents, one world-directed and one self-directed. Given how we understand the nature of mental states and contents, however, there seems to be a prima facie worry that there is no substantial difference between these views.
One difference seems to emerge when we consider how they each attempt to explain introspection. According to higher-order theories, introspection occurs when there is an unconscious higher-order representation directed at another higher-order representation.
According to same-order theories, introspection involves an attentional shift in which a subject becomes more focally aware of the self-directed content she is usually only peripherally aware of. I will raise a problem for each of these treatments of introspection. Same-order theories have a problem accounting for the possibility of cases in which one is able to introspect and introspective state. Higher-order theories face a problem accounting for the richness of introspection.